Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sixteen Thoughts About God

A social-networking friend suggested that I read this article yesterday, and I did. Once you get past sentences like, "The problem with the story that you should have no story except the story you choose when you had no story is that story is a story that you have not chosen," which hit the eye as the kind of philosophical drivel that could have been twice as clear in half as many words, it's an excellent, thought-provoking piece. I slept on it, got up this morning, and put in order a few of the thoughts the article had provoked. And here they are:
  1. A god who is not free to be who he is, but is constrained to be who you believe him to be, is a god of your own inventing.
  2. A god who needs you to believe in him, cannot help you.
  3. A god you freely choose to serve, can impose no moral or ethical restrictions on you.
  4. A god who would not be in the right to destroy you, cannot meaningfully show mercy and save you.
  5. A god whose promises are at all conditional, even if the condition is only that you believe his promises, cannot be trusted with full assurance.
  6. A god who accepts you as you are, and does not challenge you to repent, is a fantasy personifying your desire to justify yourself.
  7. A god whose revelation is open to a wide range of interpretations, is not real enough to reveal himself with any authority.
  8. Worship designed to appeal to people who are allergic to religion, is the worship of an unreal god.
  9. Preaching centered on success, prosperity, or the collection of funds to enrich the ministry, is the preaching of the god Mammon.
  10. Preaching centered on happiness, personal fulfillment, and healthy relationships, is the preaching of the god Self.
  11. A god whose revelation is subordinate to one's religious reasonings, is the god of one's Mind.
  12. A god whose revelation is subordinate to one's religious experiences, is the god of one's Feelings.
  13. A god whose revelation is subordinate to one's pious service or observances, is the god of one's Works.
  14. A god whose revelation can be fully grasped by human thought, cannot be a transcendent god.
  15. A god whose presence and activity is not located in ceremonies that he specifically commanded, can only be approached through one's pious sentiments and imagination.
  16. A god whose chief characteristic is that he incarnates (or has incarnated) himself, will always be rejected by the majority.

1 comment:

Robin D Fish Jr said...

Corollary 1.1: To say, "I could never believe in a god who would do this or allow that to happen," is to admit that any god you do believe in is your own invention.

Corollary 3.1: A church that you join by your own free choice, has no answer to challenges to its moral code.

Corollary 4.1: To say, "My god would never send anyone to hell," is to admit that there is no mercy or salvation in your god.

Corollary 7.1: To say, "Everybody has to believe what is right for himself," is to reject the authority of all divine revelation.

Corollary 14.1: To say, "God would never say or do anything that conflicts with reason," is to deny the existence of a transcendent deity.

Corollary 15.1: God binds himself to the concrete ministry of word and sacrament.

Corollary 16.1: At any given time, most who claim to serve Christ actually reject him.

Corollary 1.2 or 16.2: The stumbling block most people can't get over is the idea that God is who He says He is, and no one else.